Community Resilience

Connecting the rural community in challenging times

The agri-food business ABP Northern Ireland has teamed up with the former BBC broadcaster and farmer, Karen Patterson, to produce an innovative podcast for the farming and agri-food community.

The impetus for the ‘ABP Now We’re Talking Farming Podcast with Karen Patterson’ was the cancellation of summer shows due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

George Mullan, Managing Director of ABP Northern Ireland explains, “Sadly due to Covid-19 the farming and agri-food industry has missed out on the summer rural events we all know and love. From our platinum sponsorship of the Balmoral Show to our support of the local Newry, Lurgan and Clogher Valley Shows we would normally be meeting and greeting thousands of our producers and industry partners over a cup of tea and a beef sandwich on our stands at this time of year. The podcast is a way to connect around important topics that are impacting us all in the agri-food community at this time.”

Podcast host, Karen Patterson, is joined by a variety of guests including other farmers and experts. Karen left her prominent role on breakfast radio in January to dedicate more time to farming, “I was initially approached by ABP to write an article about my experience of farming during lockdown for a special publication for their 4,000 farmer-suppliers. The idea grew from there. We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of keeping in touch in recent months. Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular at this time.”

Episode 1 focuses on the prevention of farm accidents in an emotional interview with two survivors and the lead paramedic for the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance whose task it is to respond to such traumatic scenes. ABP is an affiliate member of the Farm Safety Partnership.

Episode 2 considers future education and jobs for teenagers interested in working in agri-food and the relevance the pandemic has given to key workers. It also highlights the opportunities the ABP Angus Youth Challenge gives teenagers to gain employability skills.

Episode 3 is out in August. It will delve into the impact of isolation in the rural community caused by the pandemic. It features a young farmer who has grappled with his mental health; the NI Mental Health Champion, Prof. Siobhan O’Neill and how the charity, Rural Support can be of help.

Listen free to the podcasts at https://abp.buzzsprout.com/